Victor Martinez suffered another health scare that could force the Tigers DH to contemplate early retirement.
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez has enjoyed a successful career. Unfortunately, a second time facing an irregular heartbeat this season may force him to rethink his future and contemplate retirement.
Martinez was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation after his final at-bat during Saturday night’s 6-3 win in Chicago. The condition includes symptoms such as rapid heart rate, which can increase the risk of stroke or heart failure.
“Racing heart, couldn’t get it to slow down, that type of thing,” Martinez said to the Detroit Free Press. He spent the night in a hospital where doctors worked to regulate his heartbeat.
Martinez spent time on the disabled list with the condition earlier in the season. He reported cold sweats, dizziness and an accelerated heartbeat during a June 15 contest against the Tampa Bay Rays and was hospitalized after the game.
In addition to his own heart issues, the situation is made even more serious considering the 38-year-old lost his father to a heart attack when Martinez was a child.
“If he asked me, the first question that (Martinez) should ask, not me, but the doctors, is, ‘Is this putting me at risk?’” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said to the Free Press. “’Is there any, really, long-term risk?’ That would be the first question I would ask. And then depending on the answer, you would have to make a decision.”
Martinez was having a down year by his standards in 2017, hitting .255 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 107 games. A five-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger, Martinez has a .298 career average with 237 homers and 1,124 RBIs in 15 seasons with the Indians, Red Sox and Tigers.
Martinez said in Spring Training he would like to finish out his contract, which runs through next season, but this latest setback may force him to reconsider his plans, especially since his wife Margret gave birth to their fourth child, and third daughter, earlier this season.